Chicago sisters accused of stabbing store security guard 27 times after he asked them to wear a mask

The incident occurred at a shoe store in Chicago.
Chicago police vehicles wait to receive personal protective equipment on April 15, 2020.
Chicago police vehicles wait to receive personal protective equipment on April 15, 2020.Nam Y. Huh / AP file

Two sisters were charged with first-degree attempted murder on Tuesday after they allegedly stabbed a security guard 27 times after he asked the women to wear a mask and use the store-provided hand sanitizer, police say.

A Chicago Police Department spokesperson told NBC News that Jessica Hill, 21, and her sister, Jayla, 18, initially got into a verbal altercation with a guard at a shoe store in Chicago after they refused to wear a mask. The late Sunday afternoon incident turned physical when one of the sisters allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the guard multiple times in the back, neck, and arms, police say.

Chicago police said the 32-year-old victim was hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, while the sisters were arrested and treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

According to police, the women were both in "good condition" and later booked at Cook County Jail.

At a bond hearing on Tuesday, Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Mary Marubio charged the women with first-degree attempted murder and ordered them to be held without bond, prosecutors said.

The sisters’ court-appointed attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, but the Chicago Tribune reported that the defense lawyer argued that they were acting in self-defense and have bipolar disorder.

The defense attorney added that the pair had not intended to commit a crime nor did they have a criminal record, but the judge said the “sheer number” of stab wounds was concerning, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The Chicago stabbing is the latest on a list of violent mask disputes happening all over the country. In September, an 80-year-old man near Buffalo, New York, died from “blunt force trauma to the head” a few days after he asked a man to wear a mask at a bar, who allegedly later shoved him to the ground. Earlier in May, two men broke a security guard’s arm at a Target in Los Angeles after they refused to wear face masks inside the store, police say.

Marubio said the incident was “terrifying,” according to the Sun-Times.

“It’s the complete randomness of this,” Marubio said. “This is just too random and quickly escalating. I can’t fashion conditions that would protect the community.”

Prosecutors said the sisters are expected back in court on Nov. 4.